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03-07: Qualcomm is allegedly in talks to settle a dispute with Huawei Technologies; MediaTek and Tencent have announced a joint collaboration for an innovation lab; etc.

Chipsets

A U.S. government national security panel has identified potential risks that warrant a full investigation of Singapore-based Broadcom’s USD117B bid for chipmaker Qualcomm. Specifically the government is concerned about Broadcom’s connections with foreign parties. (Apple Insider, Reuters, 163, iFeng)

Qualcomm is allegedly in talks to settle a dispute with Huawei Technologies, which has been withholding a hefty stream of royalty payments from the chip maker. The negotiations between Qualcomm and Huawei are well along and could result in a settlement in the coming weeks. (Laoyaoba, IT Time, Sina, WSJ, Reuters)

MediaTek and Tencent have announced a joint collaboration for an innovation lab for development and optimization of mobile gaming and other entertainment products, as well as explore AI related terminal applications. Currently Tencent’s few popular games are already optimized to run on Helio P60, P23 and P10, etc. (My Drivers, Laoyaoba, Quamnet)

According to Digitimes, demand for IoT chipset solutions in the China market alone is estimated to shoot up at least 50% on year in 2018, compared to a 20%-30% annual growth estimated for the global market demand. This is because the China government is injecting substantial resources to encourage the development of B2C and B2B IoT applications, while China Mobile and have since 2017 also joined forces with numerous providers of IoT services to explore the huge business opportunities there. (Android Headlines, Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)

Connectivity

China Mobile will launch what it describes as the world’s largest 5G trial network across 5 Chinese cities. Initially, the carrier’s 5G trial network will place over 500 total base stations across Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Wuhan to provide outdoor 5G service. The carrier also said that it will launch smaller-scale, app-focused trials in 12 more cities, including Beijing and Shenzhen. (VentureBeat, RCR Wireless, Xinhuanet, 21CN, NBD)

Phones

BlackBerry has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, claiming they took intellectual property from its BlackBerry Messenger technology. The suit was filed in U.S. Federal Court in Los Angeles. (Android Central, CBC, Sina, Ctoutiao)

A survey conducted by regional securities house Piper Jaffray asked 1,500 Apple iPhone users who did not upgrade to the iPhone X, why they kept their current iPhone model. 31% said “it’s too expensive,” balking at the iPhone X’s USD999 and USD1,149 price points. (Ubergizmo, Fast Company, PED Apple 3.0, JSTV, HSCBW)

Google has partnered with the United States Department of Defence to help the agency develop artificial intelligence for analysing drone footage. Google’s pilot project with the Defence Department’s Project Maven is an effort to identify objects in drone footage.  (CN Beta, Gizmodo, The Intercept)

Samsung Electronics invested more than KRW16.8T (USD15.53B) in research and development (R&D) in 2017. The company’s cashable assets still remain at the KRW30T (USD27.74B) level but the figure has decreased about KRW1.5T (USD1.39B) compared to a year earlier due to its successive large-scale investments in facilities and shareholder-friendly policy measures. (Laoyaoba, Business Korea)

In 2 years, Xiaomi has expanded its offline channels. In 2017 alone, Xiaomi has opened more than 200 retailers (i.e., Mi Jia) in China, and now the number of Mi Jia in China should be more than 300. Xiaomi chairman Lin Bin reveals that in Feb 2018 Mi Jia sales have exeeded CNY1B. (Laoyaoba, OfWeek)

Energizer Hardcase H570S is launched – 5.7” FHD+,  MediaTek Helio P18, rear dual 13MP-0.3MP + front 8MP, 3GB+32GB, Android 8.0, IP68 rated, 4800mAh. (Gizmo China, BGR)

Wearables

Apple is reportedly planning to add a premium pair of over-ear, noise-canceling headphones to its audio lineup, and expects to launch by end of 2018. Development “has been on and off over the past year”, similar to the HomePod, which went through multiple redesigns before release.  (VentureBeat, Bloomberg, Sina, 36Kr)

Internet of Things

According to Guggenheim’s analyst Robert Cirha, Apple is investing in autonomous driving as ‘the mother of all AI projects’ but has not yet committed to a car. He believes to expect Apple to get all-in or all-out over the next 2 years, and is thinking all-in given the draw of technology disruption and sheer size of TAM  (total addressable market). (Apple Insider, Ubergizmo, Huanqiu, Sohu)

International patent brokerage and Intellectual Property advisory firm Tangible IP is poised to announce that it has successfully brokered the sale of a patent portfolio of close to 150 patent assets previously owned by French Sovereign Patent fund (SPF) France Brevets. Didi Chuxing is the buyer of these patent assets. (Laoyaoba, IP Watchdog, iam-media)

Aurora, a year-old start-up, has raised USD90M in funding, in the latest sign that investors are racing into the self-driving car market. The company’s funding comes just days after California approved regulations that could see truly driverless cars appear on its roads within weeks. Index Ventures and Greylock, the venture capital firms, jointly led the investment in Aurora. (Laoyaoba, Financial Times, CNBC, Fortune)

Alphabet’s health-care unit Verily is moving ahead with plans in the insurance sector with new hires and partnerships. Verily has allegedly been in talks with insurers about jointly bidding for contracts that would involve taking on risk for hundreds of thousands of patients. (Laoyaoba, CNBC)

Finance

Blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies, is “one of the most overhyped technologies ever,” according to noted economist Nouriel Roubini. There is no central authority on the bitcoin network which is why the blockchain is often called distributed ledger technology. Advocates have said that it could speed up processes such as legal contracts, cross-border money movement, and back-end processes in large firms. However, Roubini thinks that blockchains are less efficient than existing databases.  (CN Beta, CNBC, Market Watch)

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